Page 125: The monster gazes into a pool
Legacy of the Mediterranean
Instructor: Sonam Singh
Session conducted by: Charlotte Price
Welcome! This page supports research for First-Year Writing. For tools and techniques on the texts for this class, consult the English Department Guide.
If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.
Beginning research | Finding background information | Searching for books | Searching for scholarly articles | Citations | More
- Choose a topic! Try and pick something that genuinely interests you, something you want to know more about
- Take your topic and look at the keywords - use these to do searching, as opposed to plugging the full question into a database
- Find some background information on your topic
- Search for books and videos on your topic. Skim, read, and evaluate - put books back that aren't useful.
- Search for more specific articles. Skim, read, and evaluate - discard articles that don't look useful.
- Document your sources as you go along - this will make the paper-writing process much easier!
- Using reference sources like encyclopedias can be a great way to find overviews (these can also be cited in your paper). There's a list of reference sources for your class at this link. A lot of these are available online through CLIO.
- Using Google and Wikipedia can be helpful, too! In Google, you can get a sense of keywords and concepts, and try the Google Advanced Search for more options like searching within one domain (like .gov or .edu sites only). In Wikipedia, check the references list on an entry to trace the source, and find citable information.
- CLIO (our online library catalog) searches all the resources in the Columbia Libraries, including Barnard Library and Union Theological Seminary, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. The catalog portion of CLIO searches for books and media.
- Know what you're looking for? Use the dropdown menu to search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc.
- Not sure what you need? Use a general keyword search with "quotes for a phrase," and * for truncation (this lets you find all varieties of a word, so feminis* would pull up feminism, feminist, feminists, etc.
- Book you need checked out? Request it from another library via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
- Search WorldCat to find books in libraries worldwide. Use Borrow Direct or ILL again!
Barnard and Columbia have access to hundreds of electronic databases. Search for links to the databases through CLIO or take a look at the subject specific research guides for guidance to the best databases for each subject. Here are some that might be particularly useful for this course:
- Academic Search Complete from EBSCOhost is a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary, full-text database. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for thousands of journals and other publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc.
- CLIO Articles searches a large database of mostly full-text journals, encyclopedia and newspaper articles; this database also includes e-books and government documents. Newspaper articles are excluded from the initial search results. To include them, click the 'x' next to "Not Content Type: Newspaper Articles" above the search results.
- Gender Studies Database brings together scholarly sources in the studies of women, gender, and sexuality. Source documents include professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses & dissertations and other sources.
- Google Scholar allows you to search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Especially useful for keyword discovery
- Humanities Full Text is an extensive database of articles and citations from scholarly journals in the Humanities. Has full-text for articles from 1995 onward, and abstracts and indexes from 1984.
- JSTOR has full-text of all kinds of key journals in a variety of fields, but excels especially in literature, history, sociology, women's studies, and religion. Articles range from the earliest issues (even as far back ast the 1800s!) up to 2010.
- MLA International Bibliography is an index of critical articles on literature,languages, linguistics, and folkore. Coverage is from 1923 to present. This database doesn't have full-text articles in it, but use e-link to find them in other databases, or ILL them from another library.
- Project Muse contains full-text versions of peer-reviewed journals from many of the world's leading university presses and scholarly societies, as well as thousands of ebooks, with emphasis on humanities and social sciences.
- ProQuest is a multidisciplinary database of magazines, newspapers (including alternative and ethnic presses), dissertations, and scholarly articles.
- Citation management software does just that - manages your citations for you. Most let you import citations directly from databases, CLIO, and Google Scholar. All can generate bibliographies for you in a variety of styles, though you should still double-check to make sure it's all right!
- Cite Source from Trinity College Libraries shows you how to cite all kinds of things, from books to tweets, Google Maps to live performances, websites to government documents, and more. Featuring styles of ACS, APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago, and MLA.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has a ton of details on citation styles, research, and even example formatted papers.
- The Craft of Research is a useful online book that can help guide you through the full research process.
- Learn to evaluate web resources with a handy guide from Columbia University.
- Check out the English & American Literature research guide from Columbia Libraries.
- Libraries can be jargony. Learn the lingo with our glossary of library-related terms.
- Handout and worksheet from the library session with Charlotte
Please submit feedback about your library session with Charlotte! Your response is anonymous.